The Girl In The Tangerine Scarf Character Analysis

1066 Words 5 Pages
The Impact of a Family
In The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf, Mohja Kahf characterizes Khadra as a woman who is closely knitted to her roots. Khadra looks back at her childhood and early adulthood, as she negotiates questions of religion, identity, racism, and belonging. From the start, Khadra constantly struggled between believing the morals of Muslims and obtaining an American identity. Whether it was at school or at home, she encounters people who challenge her conceptions of both. Through this, Khadra’s family and cultural identities shape who she is through strict rules, personal beliefs, and a cultural environment.
Khadra’s strict Muslim parents continuously limited her as she grew up. Khadra’s family’s strict rules come into play when
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Because it was not a common thing to do in Khadra’s religion, she was never allowed to do so. This is possibly a reason why Khadra always questions herself as to what she is: one who appreciates her religious guidelines, or an American. However, her parent’s rigorous standards are not simply confined by not being present in the household. Khadra must maintain a diet that excludes pork, as her parents would say that it is considered “haram,” meaning forbidden. Considering Khadra’s family, it seems as though her household is a setting that allows her to further develop her own inner self. Her engagement has definitely changed her to understand that this setting is indeed, where she came from. This comprehension builds the plot and helps note what kind of environment Khadra grew up …show more content…
She recognizes the differences between her parents’ views and hers, such as what they wear and how they interpret things, but knows that it doesn’t set her too far apart from them. She has changed, indeed, as her views on her mother supporting Americans are modified. She is extremely proud of her mother for stepping outside her comfort zone and as she expresses, “These were new horizons. You go, Mom” (387). Along with that, she no longer feels transparent in America’s soil. Even though in the beginning she reveals that “Between the flat land and the broad sky, she feels ground down to the grain, erased,” (2) she has now stabilized in Philadelphia, illustrating that America is her home after all. To Khadra, she cannot dismiss her family no matter the circumstances and differences that set them into disagreements. Khadra, with the influence of her surroundings especially her parents, is comfortable with complexity and contradictions and overall loves her community despite all the disparity amongst one another. As she stated, “In a funny way, Khadra realizes suddenly, as she surveys the crowd: they’re us, and we’re them”

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